There we sat, Manhigut Yehudit's Strategy Team, for our first strategy meeting ahead of the primaries. "According to Likud law, primaries for chairmanship of the Likud will be held in about a year," I said, "and we have to prepare now." We spent hours discussing different ideas and assigning tasks and projects. As people began heading for the door, somebody read aloud a headline that had just come through on the internet: Netanyahu Calls for Primaries on Jan. 31. "Very funny," someone laughed. But it wasn't a joke. Our entire meeting had just been rendered irrelevant. We have seven weeks until the primaries. My phone began to ring. Reporters asking my reaction to Bibi's bombshell. "I will run for the head of the Likud no matter when primaries will be held," I declared.
Why run? And why run on such short notice, when Netanyahu obviously has a clear advantage?
The greatest threat hanging over Israel's head greater than a nuclear Iran is the loss of our legitimacy to exist as a Jewish state. From our long and difficult history we know that the delegitimization of our right to exist ultimately leads to annihilation.
We have rightfully "earned" the existential question mark hovering over our heads, after years of evasion and blurring of Israel's Jewish identity. Faith-based Jewish leadership that will rally Israeli society around its Jewish identity is nothing less than an existential imperative.
"But you don't have a chance," people say to me. My answer to that is that no revolutionary vision has a chance at the start. But when pursued with determination, the vision always turns out to prove itself well-connected to reality. This means that as long as I do not give up, I am always winning. The Wright Brothers' first successful flight turned all the crashes that preceded it into part of the success story. The principle was right and with their perseverance, they ultimately succeeded. In the previous primaries, I received 25% of the votes. In the primaries before those, I gained more votes than all the other candidates who were senior government ministers at the time. That would not have happened if I had not dared to run the first time and receive only 3% of the vote.
Ultimately, the most realistic thing in the world is the fulfillment of G-d's will. The Creator has not guarded the Nation of Israel for the past 3000 years, restoring us to our Land after 2000 years of exile, just to establish another Western, democratic, liberal province on the very piece of land that the "oppressed" "Palestinians" claim as their own.
The Nation of Israel has a national destiny and a universal message to bring to the world from Zion. That is the reality. To continue to exist and flourish, the State of Israel needs Jewish leadership. It needs leadership that understands the Nation's destiny and strives to fulfill it. The question is not if we will win the primaries for leadership of the Likud. The question is when we will win and lead our Nation. We will win, because we are the only candidates on the national leadership arena that are connected to reality!